Water bill collection in Flint, MI, is in an odd state these days. After a judge in the city found that water rates were too high and that water shutoffs need to come to an end, fewer and fewer people are making payments on their bills. The lower rates apply to both water and sewage, and they were ordered to be 35 percent less in cost.
However, by having no means to act on the customers who do not pay their bills, the city has found that the number of people who are coming in to city hall to pay their bills has dropped substantially. In fact, over 100 people fewer are coming in each day to make a payment. For a town like Flint, that actually equates to a huge portion of their revenue collection since the average number of people coming in dropped from an average of 447 to an abysmally low 344.
While this class-action suit may seem like a momentary breath of fresh air for families who are struggling in Flint, officials at City Hall have taken steps to counteract the potential loss of funds. These include actions like putting a freeze on new hiring citywide and claims that the city of Flint could end up in bankruptcy.
While we would never recommend not paying one of your bills, this is a particularly interesting situation to watch unfold. Without the threat of shutoff, what’s the point in ever paying a water bill again? What are your thoughts on the subject?